Life is a roller coaster of experiences—from the amazing and happy to the truly horrifying. As great as moments like winning a contest, graduation, and your wedding day might be, there are also terrifying moments like losing a loved one or getting into an accident that you might experience too.
Redditor LuckyAdair asked:
"What is the scariest experience you have gone through?"
[Content Note: the following article contains stories of various traumatic events, such as loss of a loved one, injury to a child, armed robbery, murder, and suicide. Reader discretion is advised.]
"Get The F*ck Out Of My House"
"Someone breaking into my house last year."
"It was really early in the pandemic and my wife was in the bedroom asleep, I was in the living room with headphones in playing video games with some friends while my son was asleep in his little jawn next to me. Was maybe 8PM."
"Basically I stood up and took my headphones off, and turned around just in time to see this guy in a bright red ski mask (which is way scarier than black it turns out) opening up the doors into the living room / dining room area I'm in. Nearly sh*t myself."
"He pauses, I'm like, frozen for a second but then stammer out 'get the f*ck out of my house' and he just lunges at me. Like, he wasn't armed, he wasn't bigger than me, I think he just panicked and thought he could knock me down and run...or worse..."
"But uh, it turns out when someone breaks into your house and your entire family is home and your child is now crying while you fight a tweeker in your living room...some really primal sh*t kicks in, and I fought the guy until I had him in like, my approximation of a choke hold (not a fighter), before shouting for my wife to call the police, who arrived like, instantly because:""My friends heard the entire thing on/through discord and one of them called the police."
"Was over in under 5 minutes but I couldn't use headphones anymore while I gamed in that room (we've since moved), I don't like having my back to doors, and I had to get a few stitches on my hand from how I fell."
Armed Robbery Is Traumatizing
"Scary, just a few weeks ago I got robbed at gunpoint by three guys that came up behind me. It was 9PM and right in front of my house. Even when I complied and gave them my cash, they still punched and kicked me afterwards. My focus was on trying to make sure they didn't get my keys either to my house, where my wife and kids were at the time, or my truck that I was unloading. They did get my phone though and dumped it off a bridge.
"The police found it, but it was smashed to hell, but they did get prints off of it and there is a warrant out for one of the guys. Still scary that they know where I live."
Get Out Quick
"My husband calling me to tell me his brother killed his parents and that I needed to get the dogs and myself out of the house immediately in case his brother was on his way to our house."
"I was incredibly fortunate that a neighbor let me hide the dogs in her garage and come in until my husband gave me the all clear to go home."
"How did this end? Did the brother go to your place? Did end up in jail or underground?"
"He also set several fires across town (including his own property and his parents) and then killed himself in a confrontation with the police."
"Was doing some mineral exploration work up in Alaska this summer in a very remote mountain range. I was working at a drill site where a grizzly had been spotted at the rig earlier that day and I was naturally a little on edge. I was laying out some wires through very thick brush (couldn't see through it at all), and all of a sudden I hear a really large animal close by, and I smelled the typical wet dog bear smell."
"Before I had time to react the wire gets ripped out of my hands and dragged into the brush at probably 20mph. I'm freaking out trying to reach my gun and this massive bull caribou just pops his head out and looks me over, then walks away lol."
Fear Isn't Always Short-lived
"It's happening right now."
"My wife is in the ICU with pneumonia on top of a year+ long battle with cancer. Sedated, on a ventilator and barely clinging to life, her heart could just give out at any time and that's it."
"I'm literally sitting in her room all night fully expecting to lose her sometime tonight or in the next couple days."
"Ive been through some scary moments in my life, but in a completely different way, this is by far the scariest night of my life."
Just Trying To Make Pizzas
"Got a couple knives pulled on me one night while working at a pizza shop. Had a little mexican standoff. First time experiencing the thought "I might have to stab this dude or be stabbed'"
"Luckily our pizza knives were bigger and with my coworker backing me up the two dudes both left. I owe my life to my coworker from that night, dude had my back."
Rockslides Are Terrifying
"I got caught in a rockslide and fell off a cliff while backpacking. Early Spring, things were starting to melt, we were hiking on a ridge and looking for a way down the side, maybe a 60 - 70 degree loose scree slope, to a stream about 500 feet below. I was in the lead, heading down at an angle, rocks kicked out from under my feet, and I fell backwards onto my butt."
"All of sudden, the entire slope around me began to move en mass, like an island of broken up rocks with me sitting in the middle. I rode it down the hill, bouncing off stuff and trying to stop myself and dig in but no luck, just picking up speed."
"At the bottom, the hill dropped off to a 40 ft cliff, and I was launched off with the slide. I landed in a pile of debris and loose stuff that previously came down, including a lot of loose snow, which mostly absorbed the energy. I was mostly OK, muddy, lots of scratches and bruises, a separated shoulder and broken tail bone, but I was able to walk out."
My one memory is being in mid air, time standing still, and looking to my left at a stove-size boulder likewise suspended in the air, about 6 feet away. Any good size rock would have killed me."
"Impending Sense Of Doom" Doesn't Quite Cover It
"When I was a teenager I had an irregular heart rhythm, and required a medication called adenosine."
"Adenosine is usually given via infusion just once or twice, in hospital under careful monitoring, and the side effects include an 'impending sense of doom'. This side effect relates to your heart beat temporarily stopping. This fires signals to your brain, telling you it's time to panic. Or you've reached the end."
"'Impending sense of doom' doesn't begin to describe it. I was told in advance, but nothing prepares you for it. I went from sitting on the hospital bed, just finished a sandwich and thinking about my year 11 exam, to suddenly being certain that I was going to die here. I've never felt so sure of anything - I couldn't move or speak, and my mind suddenly raced very fast, to the extent I couldn't keep up with my own thoughts. It was similar to what you hear about your life flashing before your eyes."
"My brain was drowning, and telling me to find more oxygen - even though I was breathing fine. I was suddenly sure this was a nightmare, that this hospital was fake and all the doctors and nurses were actors, and I was poisoned."
"Then it was over in seconds. I haven't had a single heart problem since."
Seizures Can Be So Scary
"My son had his first seizure while I was driving. He was in the back seat and I heard a noise. I looked in the rearview mirror and he was convulsing with blood running out of his mouth. Then he collapsed, I thought he had died. To this day, I don't know how I was able to get off the freeway, call 911 and check his pulse. He was 7 years seizure free on Nov. 29, but that one day changed my life forever."
Am I Going To Drown?
"Being held underwater by some classmates in highschool. Not the worst or most damaging thing I've gone through, not even close to being the worst incident of bullying, but it was the most frightening."
Words Nobody Wants To Hear
"'It is cancer. I'm sorry'"
"I was 34, and had just gotten married a few months earlier. Stage 2. Grade 3 triple negative, invasive ductal carcinoma."
"I'm OK now, treatment was successful."
"But three years on, my husband cheated on me, we're getting divorced and my only chance to ever have children (after the chemotherapy left me infertile) remains with the 12 embryos currently stored in a freezer somewhere."
"So now I have to decide if I want to be tied to the man who ruined everything and betrayed me, by having his children... its my only option if I ever want to get pregnant."
Where Is Everyone?
"I don't think that's the scariest thing that happened to me but it's the one I can remember now."
"I was sleeping in class and when I woke up the class was empty and it was dark outside so I got up started panicking and ran down 3 stories of stairs in 10 seconds only to find out that it was break and it was dark outside because a storm came in the half hour I was sleep in and made it look like night time."
Don't Build A Bomb
"Being 18 and waking up to the FBI screaming and pointing guns in my face with bright lights and dragging me out of bed and getting cuffed and thrown into a van."
"Don't build a
"I dont do dumb shit anymore and I dont buy anything that would make them think im up to my old ways."anymore and I dont buy anything that would make them think im up to my old ways."
"I'm on the straight and narrow now and after all that the only job I could get was in the trucking industry and now I own 5 trucks and built a nice life and try my best to be a up standing member in my community."
"Giving birth to my son, they put him on my chest for about 5 seconds then snatched him up and an entire team of medical types crowded around him working in complete silence. He wasn't breathing. I got to see him for all of 3 seconds, and only heard a couple of weak cries before they rushed him to the NICU."
"Two hours later they came up to tell us he was on a ventilator and not doing great, they suspected a heart defect and were going to helicopter him to the closest children's hospital (about 90 miles away). We did not get to see him for five hours and it was a couple days before we could hold him. I gave birth at midnight, so all of this was happening in the late late hours."
"A couple of relatively common issues had happened, both of which on their own need immediate attention but are not difficult to deal with, but the resolution of one caused serious problems because of the second. His heart is fine. He's a perfectly happy healthy preschooler now who is squirting bath water into the tub faucet and laughing hysterically."
Parent's Worst Nightmare
"Woke up in the middle of the night to my smoke alarm and found my baby's crib on fire. Some people's literal worst nightmare (and mine now too)."
"Is he okay?"
"Aye. Thanks for asking. You can read my story here if you'd like."
"Oh my goodness! I’m so thankful your son is ok now! I can’t even imagine what y’all went through."
Carnivals Are Supposed To Be Fun
"I was visiting some family in Edmonton years and years ago and they use to have this big fair full of rides and attractions. I wish I could remember the name sorry. All the rides were your standard carnival rides, the gravitron, tilt-a-whirl, log flume, etc. I had gone to many of these traveling fairs in my time and had a good time so thought nothing of it."
"After going on a few rides and having fun I decided to go on that ride that is the boat the goes back and forth before going all the way around. So at the beginning everything seemed fine."
"However at a certain point when going back the safety bar that was suppose to hold me in place just fell forward. It had not locked in and the ride was underway. The ride started heading the other way and the safety bar fell back on to me again. I pulled it as hard towards myself hoping to lock it into place."
"Yet when we started heading back the bar just flopped completely open again. I was sh*tting myself. I literally thought I was going to fall out of this ride and die. All those carnival horror stories were true I was fearing."
"I just wrapped my arms around the bar and held myself with my hands. If worst happened I would dangle from the bar I thought. Fortunately after a rocky ride it came to an end and I was safe with maybe only leaving my seat a few inches."
"I immediately ran to one of the workers after I got off and told them. The ride was shut down for 30 minutes after and I was done having fun for the night. The only other time I've been that scared since was the few times I've had sleep paralysis."
Just A Bad (Or Good?) Year
"I have cheated death 3 times this year."
"2. At 2am a couple months ago carbon monoxide detectors go off in my moms house we start opening windows and calling the fire dept as we wait outside (w 2 dogs). The minute he opens the front door the detector starts going off like crazy. He said longer than 20 min we all could’ve died with the amount that was in the basement caused by a problem with the hot water tank."
"3. A large patio chair flying out of the back of a pickup truck which almost smashed my windshield had I not swerved just in time."
"An angel has my back and is watching out which I’m grateful for!!"
"Two are tied:"
"Being shot when our neighbor’s gun 'accidentally discharged' and the bullet came through the shared wall, severing an electrical line, barely missed my head, glanced off my chest, and landed on the other side of the room. The sheer thought of what could have been if I’d been laying an inch further left is terrifying."
"Gas pedal getting stuck while driving home from my mom’s funeral. I somehow managed to get the car pulled over and turned off, but I was going 85 mph+ going uphill. If it had got stuck three miles earlier, I’d have plunged off a seaside cliff, taking my aunt, cousin, and 9 month old daughter with me."
Feels Like You're Dying
"Kidney stones. They were only about 1-2cm in size, but the pain they caused me was the worst feeling I’ve ever experienced. Doctors thought my appendix burst."
"God I think the worst thing about getting kidney stones for the first time, is that you never know what the f*ck it is. It’s literally one of the worst pains people can experience, and yet not knowing what it is just f*cks it up more."
Life can be truly terrifying, but not all of it is bad. The bad parts may stick out the most because of how human brains work, but the good parts are what helps get us through the bad.
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"Don't touch me or my skin!" is a legendary battle cry in my family, courtesy of a frustrated and dramatic then-three-year-old.
She wanted to be picked up and cuddled, but also not touched in any way shape or form.
Honestly - same, fam.
Like... it's impossible but also I totally get it.
Reddit user NoLifeNoSoulNoMatter asked:
"Parents of toddlers, what was today’s meltdown-worthy tragedy?"
Buckle up, friends.
Toddlers are a wild and confusing ride.
"He asked me to open the banana but he didn't get to open it himself"
"This is why I just slightly open it and then give it to them to finish the job. Took me many MANY breakdowns to figure it out."
"This one is the worst. 'I can’t open it. Dad you do it'. I open it. 'Why did you doooo that?! I waaaanted to oooooopen it!!!!'."
"Lmao I feel so seen right now"
"This. Mine says 'No, my turn!!' God forbid you don’t let her do the thing. Which is normally just closing a drawer or something mundane."
"He wants to put a box on my head but it's broken and keeps falling off. So apparently it's ruining his play time."
"How dare you"
"I mean my playtime would definitely be ruined if my mommy's head kept falling off."
Ah Yes The Terrible 22's
"Took the car down to the body shop to get the side panel that he crunched buffed out. The car won't be ready until Wednesday but he wanted to go back downtown to party with his roommates tonight. He's 22."
"Ah the terrible twenty-twos! Hopefully he grows out of it soon!"
"So, you’re telling the rest of us that the whining never stops. Thanks. Haha"
"He's a great kid and we're very lucky. But yeah, the whining never really stops."
There Was A List
"First: his dad left for work. Second: he dumped out the box of goldfish crackers. Third: I picked up the goldfish crackers. Fourth: it wasn’t the right episode of Paw Patrol. Fifth: I won’t let him eat shoes."
"Wow that last one is just plain rude of you."
"Oh, don’t you love it when they want the second part of the show and you have no idea which one it is because they only list the first part?"
Tell Me More To Do List GIF by Disney ChannelGiphy
"My husband kissed me and apparently he is only allowed to show her affection. There was a lot of screaming and forcibly pulling us apart."
"My toddle is like this but the reverse. He fully believes I am his woman."
"(Nods in Sigmund Freud)"
"Yep. From what I remember It takes a while to understand the concept that affection is not a finite thing"
We Get This One
"She wasn't on the couch with her bottle and teddy bear."
"But actually, she was, but things weren't right"
"I mean to be fair how many of us are guilty of this? Or like when I get my food and blankies and become ensconced and then Netflix won’t play what I want or the remote is out of reach?"
"The worst is settling in with blankets and snacks only to realize the remote is out of reach. Ugh! I have to get up now?!"
"Aw bless. She just doesn't know how to explain how she feels."
"So far she's communicating 'eat', 'more', and 'banana'. We're slowly working our way up to the fung shui of the couch haha"
Those Two Are Tough Ones
"The cat was touching his toy. The toy HE threw onto the cat..."
"He also had a meltdown because his leg was attached to him..."
"Ok I need more information on the leg"
"We were driving along, all of a sudden from the back seat he starts crying and what not."
"I can't get it off!"
" 'My leg!' queue him pulling at his leg through fits of tears..."
"I flushed his poop and can’t get it back and now he can’t poop again."
"This one. I still love to embarrass my 15 year old by bringing it up. His dad flushed the toilet after he peed when he was maybe 3 or 4 years old. It was just before bedtime. Oh the heartbroken tears coz 'daddy flushed my wee'. Told him to go again. 'I don't have soooooome', was the wailed answer"
"I love this, but want to add to it- my kid is convinced the toilet can’t handle his poop. I’ve shown him how the toilet works, I’ve explained the entire sewage processing system to him several times, but he’s not going for it."
"I thought the answer would be to show him 'dad’s poop going down', so I asked his dad to 'save' a poop to flush with him watching.Dad sent a text, I sent my kid up, and seconds later I hear traumatic crying. Kid came running downstairs crying about daddy’s 'massive' poop, (my kid loves the word massive, but is good at using it in proper context), and I think we’re a good 3 months before he’ll even try pooping in the potty again."
I Have Rights
"Watched my 3 year old niece. Apparently not letting her eat cat treats is a violation of her civil rights"
"I've sharpened my pitchfork & lit my torch. You are obviously a monster."
"Talked to my pediatrician because my child kept eating the cat's food. (Elderly cat, tall toddler, really couldn't put the food up higher.) He suggested we switch to a moister food so my kid wouldn't choke."
"Let her eat them. They won't harm her."
Let's be honest—they're a lot more relatable than we'd like to admit.
Years ago, I knew a girl who came from a very strict family of Christian evangelicals. We never hung out, but she was forbidden from wearing anything "secular" and always looked very uncomfortable. It was apparent she suffered from anxiety.
She eventually found a few friends but I recall one friend who hung out at her place later told classmates that they had to answer questions about their religious affiliation before they would be allowed to enter the house.
I don't know if there's any truth to that story at this point but that would have been a giant red flag for me, just saying.
People shared their stories with us after Redditor daryandy asked the online community,
"What was the strangest rule you had to respect at a friend's house?"
"Friend wasn't allowed..."
"Friend wasn't allowed in her room unless she was sleeping or changing her clothes. She wasn't allowed to shower for more than 10 minutes. Her brother was also locked out of his room and was forced to take cold showers. All so they wouldn't pleasure themselves."
This is over the top and sounds like a surefire way to make overly sexual kids.
"A good friend of mine..."
"A good friend of mine went through a season where he didn’t have running water at his house so the rule in the house was that no one could come over unless they brought a couple gallons of water with them to pour into the toilet in the event that they had to poop."
Poor kid, growing up with that kind of stuff really sucks, even when it's only temporary. Especially if other kids find out.
"It wasn't really..."
"It wasn't really rule of the house but my friend's parents were huge helicopter parents. Went to a concert with a friend and we had to call (not text) her parents every hour to let them know we were okay."
Oh no, helicopter parents are the worst. That's no way for a kid to live.
"Her mom made us..."
"No "boy talk."
"Her mom made us keep the intercom on when we were in her bedroom and would listen to us talk, if we started talking about Boys, she would chime in and tell us to change the subject. We were 15/16 and not having the privacy to talk about crushes and stuff felt weird."
This is so wrong I don't even know where to begin with it.
"We had to keep our hands..."
"We had to keep our hands above the covers when we went to sleep so they could make sure we weren’t “doing anything”. I was 9. Literally was the last time I spent the night there. Weirdos."
Yeah... I can't say I blame you. Run for the hills. Not people you want to remain around.
"Stayed at a friend's house one night and the family communicated exclusively through whispering... not just hushed voices but full on hand to ear. Serious mind f*ck."
Something about this just gives me a creepy feeling.
"No one was allowed to laugh at the dinner table or talk other than to ask, "Please pass the. . ." No one was allowed to leave the table (even for a potty emergency) until the dad was done eating."
I don't understand this. This seems to defeat the purpose of eating as a family.
"It was impossible..."
"My friend's mom's boyfriend had one of those rooms we weren't allowed in for any reason. Problem was, it was the living room."
"It was impossible to get to the kitchen without going through that living room. Also couldn't reach the door to the backyard. So I never once entered the kitchen in that house, and any trips to the backyard meant walking out the front door and going through the gate on the side of the house."
Another one I just don't understand. Why are people like this? And the living room of all places? The living room?!
"I remember watching a movie at a friend’s house with another person, so there were three of us sharing a bowl of popcorn."
"Before any of us went to eat the popcorn, my friend said it was a rule in their house that each person can only pick up one small single piece of popcorn at a time.. we’d have to finish chewing it and wait to swallow it until picking up the next one individual piece of popcorn."
That's frustrating, would be better just to give everyone a bowl to split it. Especially since I bet the rule was made for potentially dirty hands.
"We had to finish..."
"We had to finish all the milk in the cereal bowl. Like every drop. But we weren't allowed to pick up the bowl or be noisy. Imagine three little kids carefully trying to drink milk from a spoon without slurping or scraping the bowl while one scary AF mom watched us in silence."
Something about this just grosses me out. Probably because I just don't like milk in cereal most of the time.
Your childhood feels pretty normal in comparison, doesn't it? You bet it does. I feel for some of the people here. Their parents are truly something else.
Have some stories of your own? Tell us more in the comments below!
Many people lie or exaggerate about seemingly little things. For example, I've wondered if many are lying or at the very least stretching the truth about the number of partners they've had.
One of those strange things where half of the people are lying and making the number higher, and the other half are lying and making it lower.
It's funny, isn't it? But you do you! What do we know?
People shared some of their thoughts with us after Redditor SleepingOmibozu asked the online community,
"What's something you're 100% sure most people are lying about?"
"How much their side hustle nets them."
When it comes to side hustles, everyone is much more successful than they actually are.
"Steroid abuse in the fitness industry."
This is a big one. So many people who say they're natural are juicing.
"I have read..."
"I have read and understood the terms and conditions..."
Stop attacking me! I did not ask for this!
"That they don't..."
"That they don’t pick their nose."
Yeah, right. The number of people I've seen digging for gold in public is so high.
"Fully understanding the plot of the Metal Gear Solid series."
I stopped trying to. Do I get a cookie? I'd love one.
"How often they clean..."
"How often they clean their bed sheets."
I'm not even going to ask. I think I will be seriously horrified by the answer.
"If you're not busy..."
"About their productivity levels. If you’re not busy, you’re not a good person."
Yeah, whatever. This is as bad as bragging about not taking breaks at work. It's not a good look.
"So many lies."
"Their income. So many lies."
Many people feel very self conscious about their salaries. It's sad.
"Why they're late."
"Why they’re late."
I'm not late often but when I am it's usually because of something ridiculous where if I said the truth it would sound like a lie.
"Hating the word..."
"Hating the word 'moist.'"
I love the word moist and I won't apologise.
You mean there are still people going on about this? It's just a word, people. Calm down.
Life's a competition, apparently. Take what a lot of people tell you with a grain of salt. That's the best advice.
Have some observations of your own? Tell us more in the comments below!
I once met a guy who, by all accounts, appeared to have given up. And by that, I mean that they had pretty much decided that life basically ended in the 1970s and early 1980s. He had no interest in modern technology, was remarkably out of the loop when it came to technology or even current events.
This was all very frustrating to witness, but he was actually proud of himself! Proud to not know much–if anything–about the modern world. (And then he complained about how he kept having trouble finding a job.)
It was quite the flex–an unimpressive one at that.
People shared some of their thoughts with us after Redditor metallicmuffin asked the online community,'
"What unimpressive things are people idiotically proud of?"
"Missing breaks at work for a company that wouldn’t care if they died the next day."
This is a big one. It's not cute. Take your break! There's more to life than work!
"Not eating any vegetables. Known a few people state it as if it's some kind of achievement giving themselves constipation."
Knew somebody like this. They wanted to go out on a date.
We did not go out on a date.
"Going into work while sick. Had a coworker who bragged on social media about having strep throat, but was still working because she 'values hard work.'"
Some people appear to have missed the memo that risking other people's health is not a bragging right.
"I know people..."
"Drinking a lot. I know people, grown @ss people in their late 20s, who will brag about passing out on their lawns because they couldn’t make it from the car to the front door."
To be fair, they're in their 20s and most people are idiots then. They might grow out of it!
"I once had..."
"I once had a coworker brag about how dark his pee is."
Are you seriously telling us that they bragged about their kidneys not working correctly?
"I've heard that..."
"Driving better when drunk. I’ve heard that ridiculous statement more times than I should."
If some people seriously believe that, then they should not be allowed to drive.
"I overheard a co-worker recently brag to a girl that he'd already had COVID three times and during his most recent bout, he went to the gym every day that he had it."
There are so, so many things wrong with that person's statement. Can you imagine? "Sure, I got COVID, but at least I didn't miss leg day!"
"I keep hearing people..."
"Not being able to cook. I keep hearing people bragging about how the only thing they can do is boil water."
If you've made it to adulthood and you don't know how to cook for yourself, there's something gravely wrong with this picture.
"Nothing surprises me..."
"Nothing surprises me more than when people are proud of their ignorance."
Knowledge is no guarantee of wisdom but prideful ignorance is proof of its absence.
"I worked with a guy..."
"I worked with a guy who, otherwise very smart, was extremely proud of the fact that he could remove the foil from the neck of a wine bottle without cutting it. He brought it up so many times I lost count. I just let him have it, though, because he seemed to need it."
Of all the things in this thread this is the most reasonable thing to be proud of.
Let's face it, it seems like a lot of people have made over-compensating a part of their personalities.
Sadly, they don't even seem to be doing that all too well, which means we'll continue to be largely unimpressed.
Have some observations of your own? Feel free to share them with us in the comments below!